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All paths don't lead to the same place. Christianity and Hinduism are different in so many ways. But flavors of Hinduism are very popular in America. Let's talk about it.

Reincarnation

Postby RLunde » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:15 pm

What does the Bible say about Reincarnation?
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Re: Reincarnation

Postby jimwalton » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:27 pm

From a Hindu perspective, attaining Nirvana is not often achieved by humans. Though it is the goal, few there be that find it. What that means, however, is that reincarnation for most people is an ENDLESS cycle of meaninglessness. Beings circle through an eternal chain of human being, animal, insect, cow—whatever—in search of the almost impossible to grasp golden ring of Nirvana. Each cycle is weighed according to “goodness” as to whether or not one advances upward in the line or downward, but how can one be a good cat or a good bug? And since they are told in life that life and even their station in life is determined by fate (karma), and it cannot be changed (and they shouldn’t try), their theology teaches them they are hopelessly caught in a meaningless string of determined life cycles that they cannot alter, from which they will likely never escape, and therefore, at core, life for most is ultimately meaningless. This differs so greatly from Christian theology that the two are incompatible.

The belief in reincarnation stems from several desires in humans:

We like to think we have another shot at life—another chance to do better, or to do it differently
We like to think that death is not final, and that death, ultimately, has no impact
We like to think that ultimately the judgment of God is escapable by our own eventual success at good works

The Bible has one particular comment about reincarnation, and that is found in Hebrews 9.27: “…man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” The word “once” indicates that death is an unrepeatable event. After that, we reap what we sowed. Though there are hundreds or thousands or more “second chances” during life, once we die, we have given our “final answer.” Despite that we would love for death to have no impact, and for us to have an unending sequences of chances to get it right, that is not the teaching of the Bible.

Now, it is true that the Bible teaches that death is not all there is, and that it’s not final. After death comes the accounting for how life was lived. But we are not to misunderstand that if we have more goods than bads on the ledger we make it into heaven. That isn’t the teaching of the Bible at all. A person gets into heaven if they have the nature of Jesus inside of them, and they don’t if they do not have the nature of Jesus.

John 5. 25-29, in the words of Jesus, affirm that death spells the end of “second chances,” and that after death there will be a judgment of each person.

And 2 Corinthians 5.8 lets us know that when believers are absent from the body, they are present with the Lord. There is no coming back in another form.

You know, if you believe in reincarnation, I’d love to know on what basis—with what evidence—you base your beliefs. Let’s talk about it. Christians believe in that after death is is eternity, and we get our evidence from the resurrection of Jesus, and his teaching that after death we stand before the Lord for an accounting. Where do you get your evidence, other than anecdotes and intuitions that people claim to have?
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